I. Catalysis of Intra- and Intermolecular Schmidt Reactions. II. Copper-Catalyzed Oxaziridine-Mediated C-H Bond Oxidation. III. Synthesis and Cytotoxic Evaluation of Withalongolide A Analogues.
Motiwala, Hashim F.
University of Kansas
Copyright held by the author.
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The research presented herein describes four separate projects, focusing on synthetic methodology development, discovery of novel cytotoxic agents, and natural product isolation. Catalysis of Intra- and Intermolecular Schmidt Reactions A method for carrying out the intramolecular Schmidt reaction of alkyl azides and ketones using a substoichiometric amount of catalyst is described. Following extensive screening, the use of the strong hydrogen-bond-donating solvent hexafluoro-2-propanol (HFIP) was found to be consistent with low catalyst loadings, which ranged from 2.5 mol % for favorable substrates to 25 mol % for more difficult cases. Reaction optimization, broad substrate scope, and preliminary mechanistic studies of this improved version of the reaction are discussed. The use of HFIP as the solvent also allowed for the extension of this methodology to intermolecular variants of Schmidt reaction favoring the development of mild, operationally simple, and more efficient protocols, requiring considerably less amounts of acid catalysts for these variants. Copper-Catalyzed Oxaziridine-Mediated C-(&ndash)H Bond Oxidation. The highly regioand chemoselective oxidation of an activated C−(&ndash)H bond via a copper-catalyzed reaction of oxaziridine is described. The oxidation proceeded with a variety of substrates, primarily comprising of allylic and benzylic examples, as well as one example of an otherwise unactivated tertiary C−(&ndash)H bond. The mechanism of the reaction is proposed to involve single-electron transfer (SET) to the oxaziridines to generate a copper-bound radical anion, followed by hydrogen atom abstraction and collapse to products, with regeneration of the catalyst by a final SET event. The involvement of allylic radical intermediates en route to the product was supported by a radical-trapping experiment with TEMPO. Synthesis and Cytotoxic Evaluation of Withalongolide A Analogues. The natural product withaferin A exhibits potent antitumor activity and other diverse pharmacological activities. The recently discovered withalongolide A, a C-19 hydroxylated congener of withaferin A, was reported to possess cytotoxic activity against head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Interestingly, semisynthetic acetylated analogues of withalongolide A were shown to be considerably more cytotoxic than the parent compound. To further explore the structure-(&ndash)activity relationship (SAR), 20 new semisynthetic analogues of this highly oxygenated withalongolide A were designed, synthesized, and evaluated for cytotoxic activity against four different cancer cell lines. A number of derivatives were found to be more potent than the parent compound and withaferin A. Isolation of Withalongolide O from Physalis longifolia. The SAR analysis of reported bioactive withanolides revealed certain crucial structural requisites for possessing a potent cytotoxic activity. The semisynthesis of a putative unnatural withanolide incorporating all the basic and essential structural features to boost the antiproliferative activity was contemplated. Withaferin A was considered as an appropriate starting material for this purpose. Although the semisynthetic efforts met with failure, it was during the isolation of withaferin A from the crude plant extract that we discovered a novel withanolide, withalongolide O. The structure of withalongolide O was determined using various spectroscopic techniques and subsequently confirmed by X-ray crystallographic analysis. Both withalongolide O and its diacetate exhibited potent cytotoxicity against four different cancer cell lines.
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